DORCAS — The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating four burglaries in the Dorcas community east of Crestview.
Diane Coil and her family have been on edge after someone broke into their house earlier this month.
Coil said that in the early-morning hours on Sept. 12, she awoke and noticed that several items were missing from her home — namely a laptop computer, a cell phone and a digital camera. Also missing were a pack of energy drinks and a full gas can.
"It’s frightening to know that someone could just come into your house while you’re sleeping. It's the worst feeling in the world,” she said. "I think it had to have happened between the hours between one and three o'clock in the morning," she said.
Her daughter and her boyfriend went to sleep just before 1 a.m. Coil’s husband, Thomas, awoke at 3 a.m. to get ready for work, so the burglars might have struck between those hours.
"At first, I just thought the items were misplaced," Coil said. Thomas then discovered that someone had gone through his truck, which he left the vehicle’s keys in after returning from work. He said he found papers scattered everywhere in the side of the vehicle.
The suspects also got inside another car and stole money from their daughter's wallet, but they left her personal ID's and bank cards.
Coil said she believes that the burglars took the truck keys that have a house key on it and used it to enter her home. She also thought the burglars locked the door behind them and left the keys in her husband's truck.
Coil said that the family never locked their vehicles at night, but they do lock the house’s doors and windows. She said that she and the rest of the family ensure all doors are locked before they go to sleep. Another thing that puzzles her is that her two little dogs didn't make a sound that night.
Following the burglary, she said that her dog gave the entire family a scare when it started barking. Diane feared that the burglars had returned but realized it was only a deer near the house.
The Coil family did not have any serial numbers for the stolen items, according to a police report. Officers enter serial numbers into the National Crime Information Center database.
Coil said a burglary also occurred on County Road 393.
Joel Bundrick’s property was hit the same night and one item, a chainsaw valued at $600, was taken.
"I only got to use (the chainsaw) one time," Bundrick said.
"I had to get a new door and a new lock,” he said.
The burglars apparently used force to gain entry into the shed, he said.
An officer from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's office responded to both residents to take reports. The officer found two sets of footprints that led to Coil’s house and one set that led to Bundrick’s property.
However, the officer couldn’t identify whether those track marks belonged to anyone living in the area, Coil said.
Capt. Larry Ward, of the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, said the investigation is ongoing.
"We have several units patrolling the area regularly," he said, noting that a Sept. 9 incident on Rebecca Road also was reported.
Coil said she spends a lot of sleepless nights listening for suspicious noises.
"We are all just paranoid now," Coil said. "We don't leave nothing out in the open anymore."